From The Editor | September 26, 2018

The Top 4 Consequences Of Not Creating Commercial Insight


By Travis Kennedy

The Top 4 Consequences Of Not Creating Commercial Insight

The environment in which we sell our solutions has evolved and it’s up to us to adjust or be left behind. The information your customers needed you to provide is now everywhere and the role they needed you to play in their purchasing process is forever changed.  The entire concept of selling has evolved into a journey of helping, informing, and educating along the way to cultivate that connection. To take it a step further, only when you have a true understanding of the consequences of not influencing your customers and prospects throughout their entire buying journey can you then apply that knowledge to better connect with the people you need to influence.

Even though it constitutes a clear majority of buyer interaction with your company, consumer insight and early stage content usually gets the least amount of attention, budget and resources from water and wastewater manufacturers.  While the tide is indeed turning, there is still a long way to go.  By spending the majority of your resources (time, budget, and personnel) trying to tell an uninterested buyer about how wonderful your solutions are, you are risking not just the present state of your company’s profits but it’s future existence.

Here are 4 consequences of not making commercial insight THE life blood of your sales and marketing plan.

  1. You are missing out on business that you didn’t know was possible. By engaging potential buyers EARLIER in the journey, you open up your funnel.
  2. You are missing out on engaging the executives and influencing their strategy. Executives will not take time out of their busy day to listen to your sales pitch or read your note on why they should “come by booth 123 at the trade show to see our new product.”  They will engage only if they feel they will learn something (and by something, I do not mean how great your product is or how much they need to buy it).
  3. Your customers will only see you as an expert on your products/services and not on their challenges and needs. Can you blame them?  When you only talk about yourself and not the topics that get their attention you have only proven to be an expert at one thing … You.
  4. You run the risk of being included in an RFQ but knowing that you are not the customer’s preferred choice and recognizing that the vendor criteria has been selected based on your competitor’s features and benefits. This leads to competing on price alone, or just being used as leverage vs. their preferred provider. How many times has this happened?  You’re in the RFQ to simply fill up the quote quota.  You may get a piece of business here or there but your margins are near zero and your cost per sales is way off the mark.  No business can sustain itself this way for long.

Change takes courage and I’m never surprised by the courage shown by market leaders when the existence of their business is at stake.

Image credit: "Into the light (Explored)," Brian Smithson © 2012, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license: